Research Computing and Data Science Facilitator

University at Buffalo
November 01, 2023
Offerd Salary:$75,000-$90,000
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Open-ended
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
Posting Details

Position Information

Fiscal Year 2023-2024

Position Title Research Computing and Data Science Facilitator Classification Title Senior Research Support Specialist Department Center for Computational Research Posting Number R230208 Posting Link https: // www. Employer Research Foundation Position Type RF Professional Type Full-Time Appointment Term Salary Grade N/E.79

Posting Detail Information

Position Summary

The Center for Computational Research (CCR) at the University at Buffalo (UB) is seeking applicants for a Senior Research Support Specialist to act as a research computing and data science (RCD) facilitator, enhancing the technical assistance provided by the CCR technical team to faculty, staff, students, and external customers of the University's research computing facilities. In the role of RCD facilitator, you will be an integral part of the research computing team charged with providing advanced computing assistance to UB researchers. You will assist researchers and customers with accessing CCR's clusters, writing batch scripts, utilizing various storage options, installing software, and implementing computational workflows. You will also assist with the development of documentation and training for research groups and classes. In this researcher-facing role, you will act as a liaison between the CCR technical team and the faculty and external customers that utilize CCR's resources; translating technical concepts to non-technical people and expressing pressing research needs to the CCR systems team. This position offers opportunities to conduct research, participate on funding proposals, attend research conferences, publish scientific papers, contribute to open source software projects, and mentor students.

The ideal candidate for this position is:

  • a problem solver with excellent troubleshooting skills, a strong sense of duty, and patience
  • an excellent written and oral communicator with the ability to work effectively with both technical and non-technical people
  • effective working with a team of IT professionals with the ability to self-direct and adjust to shifts in priorities
  • comfortable working in a Linux environment with experience in high performance computing environments
  • someone who values and appreciates different perspectives and diverse backgrounds, works to continually learn and improve, and interested in mentoring students
  • Tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • In partnership with CCR's technical system staff, take ownership for resolving help tickets from researchers, students, and external customers involving the usage of CCR's computing infrastructure.
  • Install new software and upgrade existing software packages made available to the general user community utilizing EasyBuild and Lmod. Assist research groups with the installation of specialized software for their research.
  • Act as a resource to the CCR technical systems team and bridge the gap between them and the researchers. Translate ideas from researchers for non-traditional use cases and requests for cutting edge technologies to better inform the technical staff, helping make decisions for future purchases and policies.
  • Onboard new research groups including training, workflow migration assistance, and data transfer advice. Review research groups' processes and recommend options to improve efficiency of resources. Monitor research computing usage and engage with researchers that are not using the resources effectively. Assist researchers with securing allocations on NSF ACCESS systems, if CCR's resources are not sufficient for their needs.
  • Identify and implement new methods for providing synchronous (remote, hybrid, and in-person) and asynchronous training to new researchers and advanced topics for experienced researchers.
  • Write and update technical documentation in partnership with CCR's system staff.
  • Mentor undergraduate and graduate student interns in various levels of customer assistance, software installation, and HPC topics. Manage weekly tasks, work schedules, and approve student timesheets.
  • Develop and maintain strategic relationships with academic departments to raise awareness around the research computing services CCR provides. Identify opportunities to work together on funding proposals with UB faculty and colleagues from outside organizations.
  • Participate in professional organizations such as ACCESS Campus Champions, EDUCAUSE RCD Community Group, Campus Research Computing Consortium, and/or US-RSE to keep current with industry best practices.
  • Outstanding Benefits Package

    Working at UB comes with benefits that exceed salary alone. There are personal rewards including comprehensive health and retirement plan options. We also focus on creating and sustaining a healthy mix of work, personal and academic pursuit – all in an effort to support your work-life effectiveness. Visit our benefits website to learn about our benefit packages.

    About the CCR

    The Center for Computational Research is a leading academic supercomputing center that maintains high performance computing and storage resources dedicated to supporting the university's research activities. The staff are comprised of high performance computing (HPC) specialists, computational scientists, system administrators, programmers, software developers, and database experts from a variety of backgrounds. CCR's mission is to enable research and scholarship at UB, provide a wide range of guidance and services to facilitate faculty led research including software development, data analytics, and parallel computing, provide education, outreach, and training at UB and in Western New York and foster economic development and job creation. This position offers a hybrid work schedule allowing the incumbent to work from their choice of locations several days per week. However, currently the State University of New York system does not offer fully remote positions. CCR's primary location is on the University at Buffalo's downtown medical campus with access to mass transit, restaurants, stores, and many social activities.

    As an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer, the Research Foundation will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant's race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin and veteran or disability status.

    Minimum Qualifications

  • A Bachelor's degree in Computer Science with an emphasis on programming and software engineering, or in a scientific or engineering discipline with research and related software engineering experience
  • Strong interpersonal competencies including clear oral and written communication skills
  • Experience with direct customer assistance in a technical field and commitment to providing professional and responsive customer service
  • Experience with computer programming or scripting languages
  • Experience compiling, installing, and running open source software in Linux environments
  • Preferred Qualifications

    No one person will have all these skills or qualifications; however, these are some desirable skillsets we'd like to see in candidates:

  • A Master's or other post-graduate degree in Computer Science with an emphasis on programming and software engineering, or in a scientific or engineering discipline with extensive research experience and software engineering, is preferred
  • 5 or more years' experience working in a Linux environment
  • Experience working in a high performance computing environment, preferably academic research computing facilitation
  • Experience in debugging and tuning of software applications on HPC clusters
  • Experience with common scientific libraries and applications
  • Experience with cluster batch computing (Slurm, PBS)
  • Experience with computational workflows involving any of the following: machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence, computer simulation and modeling, mathematical analytical techniques, genomics
  • Experience with software packaging & installation (EasyBuild, Spack)
  • Experience with statistical or mathematical modeling
  • Experience with parallel and GPU accelerated software (MPI and CUDA) and workflows
  • Experience with containerized workflows and tools (Docker, Singularity, Apptainer)
  • Proficiency in one or more programming languages relevant to research computing: C/C++, FORTRAN, Python
  • Experience in developing and presenting technical training
  • Experience with the creation of technical content or documentation
  • Experience with mentoring students or management of staff
  • Physical Demands Salary Range $75,000-$90,000. Additional Salary Information Work Hours

    37.5 hours per week

    Campus Downtown Campus Posting Alerts Special Instructions Summary Is a background check required for this posting? No Background Check Notification

    Contact Information

    Contact's Name Dori Sajdak

    Contact's Pronouns she/her/hers Contact's Title Sr. Systems Administrator Contact's Email [email protected] Contact's Phone 716-881-8934

    Posting Dates

    Posted 08/24/2023

    Deadline for applicants Open Until Filled Date to be filled 11/01/2023


    Number of references required 3

    Reference Cutoff Date Instructions to Applicant

    By providing the names and e-mail addresses of my references, I hereby authorize either Human Resources or the applicable hiring department to contact my references via e-mail to request a reference letter on my behalf.

    Supplemental Questions

    Required fields are indicated with an asterisk ().

  • After reviewing the University's mission statement (https: // www., please state how your background and experience has prepared you to be effective in an environment that values diversity.
  • (Open Ended Question)

  • Please describe your background and experience in Linux environments, specifically compiling and installing software, programming and/or scripting, and batch computing.
  • (Open Ended Question)

  • Please describe a particularly challenging interpersonal situation you were able to overcome by using your communication and/or negotiation skills.
  • (Open Ended Question)

  • Please indicate your current employment affiliation with the University at Buffalo.
  • Faculty
  • Faculty Student Association (FSA)
  • Research Foundation Employee
  • State Classified
  • State Professional
  • UB Foundation
  • TA/GA
  • Student
  • No Current Employment Affiliation
  • How did you first hear about this employment opportunity?
  • Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Conference
  • Personal Referral
  • Other
  • Documents Needed To Apply

    Required Documents

  • Cover Letter
  • CV/Resume
  • Optional Documents

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